June 19, 2018
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Dover-Foxcroft works on riverfront redevelopment site plan

By Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Dover-Foxcroft Planning Board discussed the riverfront redevelopment site plan during a Sept. 6 meeting.

The site plan is for the property along the Piscataquis River that was the home of the Moosehead Manufacturing Co. mill, which would become a mixed-use facility with retail, professional office space, residential apartments, and a cafe and restaurant as part of an approximate $10 million project being undertaken by Arnold Development of Kansas City, Mo.

Town Manager Jack Clukey said the riverfront property is owned by the Pine Crest Business Park and the organization is partnering with the town and Arnold Development to convert the site into a mixed-use property. He said the project has been in the works for about two years, with a concept phase, securing of financing and the redevelopment work.

“We are at the point for the cleanup and also starting on renovation of the facility,” Clukey said. “The developer has put together a site plan we are implementing; basically it’s going from manufacturing to mixed use.”

Clukey explained that many of the structures on the riverfront property will be staying, which in turn will provide Arnold Development with historic tax credits.

A few buildings will be demolished, such as the drying kiln, an attachment to the boiler house and a connector between a pair of structures. “Also what we refer to as the ‘attic’ or ‘crow’s nest’ will come off; that doesn’t have any historical significance,” Clukey said.

Planning board member Fred Muehl inquired about the 100-year floodplain on the site, and Clukey said this mark comes to about the first-floor level of the buildings — which would be commercial space and not the location of the apartments. “If you are walking in on the first floor, you are pretty close to the 100-year floodplain level,” Clukey said.

Code Enforcement Officer Connie Sands said measures can be taken to prepare nonresidential spaces for flooding, and this certification would be needed to help meet the full site plan criteria.

Muehl said he did not want to slow progress for the work that can be done, but said he could not give complete approval for the review until all of the conditions have been met.

He also mentioned the need for a performance guarantee “to make sure the town does not get stuck if the developer pulls out.”

The planning board passed a motion for a 10 percent performance bond, equal to $1 million, or a tenth of the $10 million project cost. The money could then be used by the town to address the property if the development project does not come to fruition.

“We need some more information to finish up what we have started here,” Planning Board Chairman Tom Sands said about other criteria for the site, such as a lighting plan and how the site residences would fall under subdivision guidelines. These items will be addressed and presented to the board at a later time for approval of the site plan.

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